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BARFLY TOP TEN: Mick Medew of Mick Medew & The Mesmerisers

mick twin townsIn no special order:

1. The Damned at The Triffid, Brisbane, March 15
A school night: Wednesday. The Mesmerisers go on at 7.30pm to a packed house. We carve, the crowd makes us feel like they are there to see us. The Damned 's tour manager remarks that he has never encountered a support band being granted a bottle of Gordon's gin as part of their drink rider: another milestone ticked.

The Damned play for two-and-a-half hours - brilliantly. They are a big hit with the audience - and with Captain Sensible back in the band, they could hardly miss.

2. Perfect Match
Now I do know where she comes from: Banyo. I’ve got a Date with a Banyo girl, tonight.

3. Died Pretty, Radio Birdman and The Mesmerisers at The Tivoli Theatre, Brisbane, June 23
The crowd have all turned up early and turn on to us straight away. Died Pretty get better every time I see them. They always were a fantastic band.

4. Perfect Purchase
My Zoom H5 portable recording device does everything i wanted it to.

5. Gap Farmers Markets, Brisbane, June 25
Andrew Ross and Co sure know how to put on a festival . We go on before dusk. I wear my sunglasses for half the set. Michael again chooses the right shirt for the occasion.

BARFLY TOP TEN: Ed Kuepper of The Aints, The Saints, Laughing Clowns and solo fame

ed kuepper 2017 top ten2017...the year that was ...and yes I have Sinatra's ''It Was a Very Good Year'' going through my head. Actually, it had its ups and downs but I'll focus only on the  ultra good, in no particular chronology.

My musical year started with a performance with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra as my backing band at The Tivoli. in Brisbane.  We played my most recent album “Lost Cities” in its entirety, as well as a selection of material I did for the “Last Cab to Darwin” soundtrack, plus earlier solo and Laughing Clowns tunes. “Ghost Gum” and “Collapse Board” were real high points for me. 

Richard Davis conducted and made the transition from the garage to the concert hall for me not only possible but an enjoyable experience. Robert Davidson did the orchestral arrangements and brought the songs to life in a context I'd often dreamed about doing but hadn't actually heard.  

Richard Wenn put the whole thing together. It would not have happened without him. His enthusiasm for bypassing the “greatest hits” approach and general tenacity made it work. Thank you, Richard. 

We did the show again in Cairns a little while later, this time with a slightly trimmed-back orchestra (even flat-stacking them, there are only so many orchestral musicians that fit into the back of my ute.)

This was also great and quite different due to the smaller orchestra. The whole thing has been a great learning curve for me. Thanks, one and all.

The next thing I went on to do was what was announced as my last ‘’Solo and By Request'' tour, this time taking in all those out of the way and rural places I don't get to that often. The idea for these shows started in 2013.

BARFLY TOP TEN: Shannon Cannon of Adelaide band Juliette Seizure & The Tremor Dolls

shannon cannon 2017

My top 10 albums for 2017 - and a cheeky top 5 EPs chucked in there, too.

Albums:
Control Freaks - "Mindless Entertainment"
Powerline Sneakers - "Disasterpiece"
Hana & Jessie Lee’s Bad Habits - "Southlands"
Meatbeaters - "Wrong Side Of Yesterday"
Sheer Mag - "Need To Feel Your Love"
Cyanide Pills - "Sliced & Diced"
The Hormones - "Legendary Junk"
Stiff Richards - "S/T"
The Molting Vultures - "Crowd Surfing With The Molting Vultures"
The Uglies - "Keeping Up With The Uglies"

EPs:
Control Freaks - "Don’t Mess With Jessica"
Les Lullies - "Don’t Look Twice"
The Cavemen - "Dog On A Chain"
Control Freaks - "No Action"
The Fadeaways - "Kicks & Chicks"

Juliette Seizure & The Tremor Dolls on Facebook

BARFLY TOP TEN: Pineapples From The Dawn of Time member, Raygun Mortlock leader, Tweed Heads promoter, seafood purveyor, and past X member James S. Doyle

jamessdoyleI don't follow hardly anything new anymore. I turned 30 this year so my opinion probably isn't as relevant as it used to be. But here we go anyway. Until next year, your friend, James S. Doyle. 

10. Hall and Oates- “Timeless Classics” (compilation)
Where should we start? The Dune Rats? Violent Soho? Clowns? No, lets just skip the popular upper-middle class bro-rock of 2017 and go straight to the heart of rock n roll. Re-packaged compilations that come out just in time for Christmas $10 bins. 


If you are looking for a starting point for your Hall and Oates collection, this may as well be it. “Maneater” “You Make My dreams” “Rich Girl”.. they are all here, plus deeper cuts such as “She’s Gone” and “Sara Smile”. A must for fans of Philly Grindcore.



9. The Afghan Whigs- In Spades (album)
I nearly forgot about this one. One of the rare cases of a band that goes away for a long time then somehow comes back better than they used to be. I would describe this album as "sad, yet gangsta AF" The internet says that this album has "generally favourble reviews" and I tend to agree with that also.

 

City Primeval. New York. Berlin. Prague. Curated by Robert Carrithers and Louis Armand (Literaria Pragensia Books/ Univerzita Karlova)

city primeval coverYou may, or may not, see this book in shops. If you do, buy it. Most of the readers here will want to read the New York section. So don’t hesitate.

But I’m s’posed to be a critic or something and The Barman wants to know: how many McGarretts?  In spite of the several things which annoy the hell out of me, "City Primeval" rates a mighty Three McGarretts. Yep: 100 percent..

Why so high, Grand-dad?

Well, the concept alone is mighty. And it could’ve been seriously terrible. But "City Primeval" is one of those unique, slanted historiography things which are invaluable to any music/ culture enthusiast. Sure, the book could’ve done with a decent editor, and sure some of the people writing here don’t usually write so it’s not the smoothest. 

But that’s not the point, at all, and in fact is part of the charm. Reading "City Primeval" doesn’t just give us a bit more context, but part of the "ah-HA!" understanding which so many outsiders to any florid scene lack.

BARFLY TOP TEN: Pig City Record co-owner, journalist and author Andrew Stafford

andrew stafford 2017 top tenJen Cloher - “Jen Cloher”
The Australian album of the year, and in many years. Name-dropping heroes who have gone before her – from the Saints to the Go-Betweens to the Triffids – Cloher proved herself the equal of any of them.

Peter Perrett - “How the West Was Won”
This album was miraculous on two levels: one, that Perrett was still alive to make it, two, that Perrett’s gift for droll wit and languid melody remained perfectly intact. His band includes his two sons, and they did the Only Ones proud.

Neil Finn - “Out of Silence”
In a good year for old stagers, Finn’s album was among his finest. Ten tiny, perfect pocket symphonies in the mould of the Beach Boys and late XTC.

Paul Kelly - “Life Is Fine”
Another old stager. Kelly returned to the charts – his first number-one, in fact – with an album that summoned the ghosts of his old band the Coloured Girls/Messengers.

The Dream Syndicate - “How Did I Find Myself Here”
Next to Peter Perrett, the year’s best and most unexpected comeback. The Dream Syndicate’s first album in nearly 30 years was as bracing as their celebrated debut "The Days of Wine and Roses".

Chris Masuak's Dog Soldier to assault French stages

Dog Soldier alternative posterChris Masuak is embarking on his first French tour in three years in January 2018 with a new band, Chris Masuak’s Dog Soldier.

Masuak carries one of rock 'n’ roll’s proudest pedigrees, his musical history reading like a “Who’s Who” of the Australian underground, so he should need no introduction around here.

The Canadian born Masuak first achieved notoriety as the teenage guitarist for legendary Radio Birdman, the torch-bearers of punk rock in Australia.

He subsequently went on to form The Hitmen, played in the New Christs and the Screaming Tribesmen and now lives in Spain where he plays and tours regularly.

Dog Soldier celebrates and preserves that proud tradition, with members from Europe’s underground and cult elite.

Bruno Mondo, bass player from The TV Men, Gunners, Trotskids and The Outside, is a veteran of France’s punk rock scene. Juan Martinez El Karaq is the drummer, from Spain’s hardcore elite and Masuak's power-punk trio, Viveiro Wave Riders.

JANUARY
10 - Paris/Montreuil - Armony Live
11 - Le Havre - L’Escale
12 - Brest - Le Ptit Minou
13 - Rennes - Mondo Bizarro
14 - Vannes - Jam Session
15 - Rennes - Ty Anna Tavarn

Adelaide's Mike Drive Show a microcosm of the changing face of music consumption

3d radio tent

Is community radio the new face of music consumption for people who care about music? ROBERT BROKENMOUTH thinks so in this appraisal of the format, with a special focus on Adelaide station 3D Radio and its Mike Drive program.

Napster, eh? Who remembers those sites? Where - wow - you didn’t have to pay for your music (if the site had it). Assorted court cases and many decades later we are stuck with several sad truths.

The first, and most obvious, is that "file sharing" and "streaming", "burning" and "ripping" are as ordinary an activity as picking the newspaper off the lawn used to be. 

The difference is that theft is now so common that it’s not comprehended as either theft, or wrong. 

BARFLY TOP TEN: Australian guitarist-songstress Penny Ikinger

penny onstage basque countryPenny onstage with Dimi Dero, Vinz Gulluliy and Johnny Casino at Andoaingo Rock Jaialdia in Basque Country.

In no particular order:

1. GUITAR WOLF (Japan) and Mach Pelican at The Bendigo Hotel, Melbourne
Ah! Guitar Wolf! Boy, can these guys fly! Liberating and exhilarating to listen to and watch. Every now and then I go to a gig and get a guitar lesson for the price of the entrance fee! This is the second time I have seen these guys, and there I was, right up the front again, with my comrade in arms, Julian Wu, protector of rock ’n’ roll women in volatile crowds.

2. CHARLIE OWEN at The State Library of Victoria, Melbourne 
Charlie melded instruments - electronic, electric and acoustic - in a way only Charlie knows how. Situated in the Reading Room of the State Library of Victoria, a tremendous building built in the gold rush era of the 1850s, the setting was opulent and reverential. Charlie had his very own pulpit/stage so to speak and kept us spellbound for an hour or so. 

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